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Save Lives and End Roadside Zoo Cruelty Now

1,460 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

4.87% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Turn suffering into hope — join our urgent mission to rescue animals from roadside zoo nightmares!


Imagine living in cramped, unnatural conditions, with inadequate food, little to no medical care, and no opportunity to engage in natural behaviors. This is the daily reality for thousands of animals in roadside zoos1. These facilities often operate with minimal oversight, leading to severe neglect and abuse. Animals suffer in silence, deprived of the basic necessities and the dignity they deserve.

As highlighted by the recent escape of a kangaroo from Greenview Park and Zoo in Ontario, Canada, the risks and consequences of inadequate animal welfare practices are real and present2.

The Need for Change

Our current laws, governed by the Animal Welfare Act3, are insufficient in protecting these animals. While the AWA was a significant step forward, it lacks the necessary provisions to empower the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to act against the abuse prevalent in roadside zoos. The recent incidents underscore the urgency of this issue. Animals in these conditions not only suffer immensely but also pose a risk to public safety when they escape their confines4.

A New Vision for Animal Welfare

We envision a world where no animal suffers in a roadside zoo. A world where animals are treated with respect and dignity, living in environments that cater to their needs. Accredited sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers offer hope for these animals – places where they can receive proper care, medical attention, and the freedom to engage in natural behaviors. This vision is achievable with the necessary legislative reform, and your support is crucial in making this a reality.

Your Voice Matters

Join us in calling for the amendment of the Animal Welfare Act. By signing this petition, you're not just adding your name to a list; you're standing up for the fundamental rights of animals. You're advocating for a world where wildlife is respected and protected. It’s time to give the USDA the authority it needs to rescue animals from abuse and relocate them to sanctuaries where they can live out their lives in peace and dignity.

Your signature has the power to catalyze change and bring about a healthier, safer future for both animals and humans. Let's stand together to ensure that every animal in a roadside zoo is given a chance at a better life. Your support is vital in driving this change.

Don't wait. Sign the petition now and be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Together, we can make a difference.

More on this issue:

  1. Bob Becken, CBC News (10 January 2024), "Kangaroo escapes southwestern Ontario zoo, found safe several kilometres away."
  2. Chatham-Kent Police Service Headquarters (10 January 2024), "Daily News Release."
  3. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture (12 January 2022), "Animal Welfare Act."
  4. The Humane Society of the United States (18 May 2020), "Roadside zoos lure in visitors amidst the pandemic, at great risk to animals and people."
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The Petition:

We, the undersigned, call upon the United States Congress to urgently update the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), granting the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) enhanced authority to intervene in situations where animals are suffering in roadside zoos. This reform is crucial to enable the USDA to remove animals from abusive conditions and relocate them to reputable sanctuaries.

Roadside zoos in the United States often operate under minimal oversight, leading to deplorable living conditions for the animals. These animals face numerous risks, including inadequate space, poor nutrition, lack of veterinary care, and mental distress caused by unnatural living conditions. Often, they are kept in environments that do not mimic their natural habitats, leading to severe physical and psychological issues. The lack of proper socialization, enrichment activities, and medical care in these facilities can result in long-term damage to the animals' well-being.

The current Animal Welfare Act, while a significant step towards ensuring the well-being of animals, falls short in addressing the specific challenges posed by roadside zoos. The AWA does not provide the USDA with sufficient power to act decisively in cases of evident animal abuse or neglect in these unregulated facilities. This gap in the legislation has allowed many roadside zoos to continue operating despite clear evidence of animal suffering.

We urge Congress to amend the AWA to include specific provisions that empower the USDA to:

  1. Conduct regular and thorough inspections of all animal facilities, with a focus on roadside zoos.
  2. Take immediate action to remove animals from facilities where they are found to be suffering due to neglect or abuse.
  3. Collaborate with accredited sanctuaries to ensure the safe and humane relocation of rescued animals.
  4. Implement stricter penalties for facilities that violate animal welfare standards.

Ensuring a Healthier Future for Animals and Humans

By strengthening the AWA and providing the USDA with the authority to rescue and relocate animals from abusive roadside zoos to sanctuaries, we will not only ensure the well-being of these animals but also promote a healthier and safer environment for humans. Sanctuaries that adhere to high welfare standards provide animals with the care, space, and environment they need to thrive. This proactive approach will also serve as a deterrent to those who might otherwise neglect or exploit animals, leading to a more humane and just society.

We believe these actions are imperative to ensure a future where the welfare of all animals is respected and protected.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: